ADB and Samoa sign AgriBusiness support project

The visiting ADB Vice President, Ms. Lakshmi Venkatachalam and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesolai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi signing the agreement this afternoon.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA: THURSDAY 19 JUNE 2014: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Samoam government today signed the AgriBusiness Support Project (ASP) to provide business support services and financing to the agricultural businesses in Samoa.

The grant of $5 million from ADB and the $0.17 million from the Samoan government will help boost the “economic performance by addressing constraints that hinder increased trade and export.”

The project aims at sustaining commercial agribusinesses.

“The project is also working with the ANZ bank to provide suitable financing services to partner agribusiness,” said the visiting ADB Vice President Ms. Lakshmi Venkatachalam who signed the project with Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

“Agribusiness provides jobs and income. So their development will play a critical role in promoting a sustainable and inclusive growth for the community,” said Venkatachalam.

Agribusness are small scale family business with less than 400 employees.

Their focus is on agro-industrial production such as chilli sauce, banana chips or fresh products for export or banana chips, or fresh products for export such as taro or Tahitian limes. They engage a significant number of smallholder families as suppliers of raw material. Agribusinesses are, therefore, critical for stimulating agricultural production.

The Samoa AgriBusiness Support Project aims to boost Samoa’s economic performance by addressing constraints that hinder increased trade and export. The project will assist selected commercial agribusinesses grow sustainably and will work with participating commercial banks to provide suitable financing services to partner agribusinesses.

Establishing contractual raw materials supply with farmers and improving product quality are all under the projects provisions.

The grant will be executed within an eight years time frame.

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